Did she or didn’t she? That is the question. Her lawyer says she didn’t. Emphatically. The CIA says, according to the NY Times, she leaked but won’t say what or to whom:
Intelligence officials would not say whether they believed that Ms. McCarthy had been a source for a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles in The Washington Post about secret C.I.A. detention centers abroad. Media accounts have linked Ms. McCarthy’s firing to the articles, but the C.I.A. has never explicitly drawn such a connection.
This statement stands in bold contradiction to the first article the Times wrote on the subject, in which David Johnston and Scott Shane stated:
The Central Intelligence Agency has dismissed a senior career officer for disclosing classified information to reporters, including material for Pulitzer Prize-winning articles in The Washington Post about the agency’s secret overseas prisons for terror suspects, intelligence officials said Friday.
So why won’t the same “intelligence officials” who first said she blabbed about the prisons story stand by what they said earlier? It’s downright weird to me.
So who’s right? Your guess is as good as mine. But there are a few questions that trouble me:
If Mary McCarthy did not leak this story and is innocent of the charges, then why did her lawyer say that she doesn’t plan to take legal action against the agency?
Yet Mr. Cobb said he did not believe that Ms. McCarthy, who has not spoken publicly since her dismissal, intended to fight her termination either in court or in the public arena.
“This is not somebody who’s hoping to make $20,000 a day on the lecture circuit,” Mr. Cobb said. “Going to war with the government is not high on her list.”
If your boss fired you for cause and the cause was non-existent wouldn’t you fight? When I asked my wife this question she replied: “Maybe she’s just sick and tired of working there and wants out.” Given that she plans in her next career to practice family law, that seems a good indication that she has had it with her career as an intelligence operative and wants to start over with something completely different. So it is possible that such motivation lies behind her lawyer’s statement. But I don’t find it completely convincing.
In other words, I believe a person wrongly terminated from a high-profile position–and whose firing will involve personal and professional vilification emanating from the highest echelons of government–would fight to retain their good name.